The best belly dance costume tutorials for the DIY types

written by Andalee on March 10, 2014 in Costuming for any size with 6 comments

I love making belly dance costumes and costume accessories and I’ve been doing it (well, at least experimenting with it) since I first started belly dancing. I learned how to sew at a young age and I took sewing classes in middle and high school. It was only natural that I would extend this passion for sewing into the belly dance realm. But it hasn’t always been a pretty process. I have made A LOT of missteps along the way, but I learned as I went through books, belly dance communities, like bhuz.com, as well as social networking sites like Tribe.net, Facebook and Live Journal. Now, there are more resources than ever out there for dancers who want to make their own belly dance costumes.

I am grateful to those dancers who have shared their work openly and freely! And now I hope to share a little bit of this knowledge with you. I’ve collected the best belly dance costume tutorials on the web, as well as some other useful links to get you inspired and sewing in no time.

Top 5 belly dance costume tutorial websites

Shushanna’s How to Make Belly Dance Costumes

Shushanna.com This is the mother ship of costuming tutorials, IMO. If you haven’t bookmarked this yet, you need to. Shushanna provides excellent tutorials on everything from construction to beading. I am always amazed that she does this for free, but you can leave a donation if you feel you received value from her work.

Naima’s Bellydance Blog

Naima's Belly Dance Blog Naima has some great beading tutorials as well as some unique and interesting tutorials like Getting Rid of Belt Butt-Gap and Adding Battery Powered LED Lights to Your Costume.

Shira.net Costuming Index

Shira's Costuming Index This section is a bit of a mixed bag and some of the tutorials seem very dated now. However, it’s a great place to dig around, especially the Costuming Goddess (Dina Lydia) pieces, and kudos to Shira for being one of the first sites on the web to offer such valuable information.

Davina’s Costumer’s Notes

Davina's Costuming I bought Davina’s book, Embellished Bras, way back in the day and it was a great book to get me started. Now, my technique is slightly different from hers, but the basics are still the same. Davina has been writing costuming how-to books for quite some time and now she’s sharing some of this information on her blog.

Sparkly Belly

Sparkly Belly  This is a new website from Mao that has some great free resources as well as paid costuming courses.

Bra-specific

TUTORIAL: Creating a Costume Bra – This is a Flickr album from Misha that is more focused on a tribal-style embellished bras. It has received an incredible 20,000 views!

Make a Bra – This isn’t belly dance specific, but it is a great resource for bra making that may be helpful in costume construction and design.

How to make a belly dance bra on the Belly Dance Blog – This is a tribal style bra tutorial from Alexandra Graham

Pharonix Bra Retro fit tutorial from Magz Ragz Couture

Making a belly dance bra (4-part playlist on Youtube) from Yasaman

How to cover a bra from Curvy Hips

 

Skirts and belts

How to make a mermaid skirt from Kyria (PDF)

Making a tribal belly dance belt (3-part playlist on YouTube) from Yasaman

Fitting a belt at Belly Dance Plus

 

Miscellaneous

Belly dancer life hacks from Ananke

How to make Egyptian fringe from Najla

Making a fishnet body stocking at Belly Dance Stuff

How to make a floral headpiece from Sahina

How to make gloves and armbands from Kyria (PDF)

Tempest’s patterns from Owlkeyme

Lycra Baladi dress pattern from Beatrice Curtis

Lots of costume tutorials from Kyria’s Closet

Nadya’s Sewing Instructions from Nadya

 

Belly Dance at Any Size tutorials

How to make a belly cover by Andalee

Super-quick radiating pleats belly dance bra tutorial by Davina

The best belly dance costume tutorials for the DIY types by Andalee

How to custom fit a hip scarf by Melissa

How to add more coverage to your belly dance bra – Part 1 by guest blogger Mao

How to add more coverage to your belly dance bra – Part 2 by guest blogger Mao

 

Andalee’s tutorials

The making of a plus size belly dance costume

Chocolate Cupcake costume dos and don’ts

Enlarging a belt pattern

Lessons learned from the Pearl Art Nouveau costume

Refurbishing an airport special: the chunky blue costume

The purple stash-buster costume

How to make a belly dance overskirt

The glitter dot goddess costume

 

Facebook pages to follow

Ozma’s Costumes  (Her older costume designs can be found at Live Journal)

Sherrie’s Hobby

Sparkly Belly (group)

Designs by Dinah

Belly dance Costumes (tips, tricks and how to make) (group)

 

Not tutorials, but costume creation/refurbishment documentation

Dark Green Bella Restoration from Sahina

 


This is what I have found and bookmarked (or pinned ;)) so far, but I know I am missing some. So what are your favorite costume tutorials? Please share with us in the comments and if they are really helpful, then I will update this article to add them.

(This page was updated on March 6, 2017)


About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.